Category: <span>Dharma</span>

What happens when you integrate astrology into the yogic practice of self-observation without judgement?

Self-inquiry is a spiritual practice that directs our energy and our attention inward. It’s a particular form of self-discovery that encourages one to first recognize and then drop the social mask (also known as the persona, personality, or ascendant) and practice authenticity in every moment. (rather than productivity or some other external goal). In, The Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield, he describes a Buddhist practice of sitting quietly and repeatedly path with heartasking yourself, “Who am I”, over and over until you reach a point where something in the body/mind relaxes (?) and a subtle shift in consciousness happens. It’s one of those things that you have to experience for yourself and hard to describe.

Svadhyaya is one of the niyamas (from Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga) that encourages us to look at ourselves, clearly, without prejudice. It’s a challenging task and requires constant practice. Kripalu Yoga is the methodology that i practice. It brings the physical and energetic bodies into the mix by developing a heightened sense of awareness to sensations, breath, thought patterns, and spontaneous emotional expression.

man-astrologyAstrology attempts to find meaning in the natural order of the cosmos. Everything has it’s own time, it’s own season, and every minute that passes is unique. Astrologers observe both long term & short term trends and relate that information to the present moment. In addition, astrology also adds mythological, archetypal, & psychological dimensions that are extremely personal and relevant.

Natal Astrology looks at an individual (or oneself) thru a lens that has no prejudice. The natal horoscope does not see: gender, race, religion, economic status, socio/cultural differences, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any of the ways in which we categorize ourselves. What the natal chart does describe is our ‘energetic’ makeup and the timing of unfoldment. The ‘how’ is up to us. There are many ways to manifest the potential of our horoscope. It’s the energy pattern and the timing that are pre-determined. All else is free will. When approached with equanimity and non-judgement the natal horoscope becomes an impartial map of possibility with a built-in clock to help one connect to the present moment more intimately.

Yoga & Astrology have co-existed harmoniously in various cultures for eons.yantra cropped Each discipline recognizes the value & contribution of the other. Across the centuries, astrologers have continued to relate the movement of what is above to the movement of what lies below. Whereas, at the same time the yogi’s were discovering what lies without, also exists within. They both agree that here & now is important.

Yoga provides us with the tools to help us be with that moment in peaceful co-existence. Astrology helps us to understand the characteristics of the our particular ego-state and the nature of the obstacles that impede our path towards a higher consciousness. Yoga helps us to smooth out the obstacles, minimize the ego drives and approach life’s challenges in peace. Astrology provides us with the nature of the ever-changing present moment. Yoga practices train us to respond to the ever-changing moment with acceptance. Astrology, when properly understood, can advance us towards spiritual awakening. Yoga does the same.

As a Professional Kripalu Yoga Teacher & Astrologer it’s taken me most of my life to bring these two paths together in a way that goes beyond the mental field or intellect. After 30+ years of study and practice I have now reached a point where I can no longer keep them separate. My personal practice and the programs I offer always include the cosmic point of view in an attempt to teach the hermetic principal, As Above, So Below. For those who are ready for the practice of self-inquiry and seek to approach life multi-dimensionally, astrology & yoga together can be quite enlightening.

Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.

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For over 40 years I have been trying to clean out my closets. Not the physical ones that exist in my home, although they could surely use some cleaning, also. But, rather, the cluttered closets of my mind and psyche. I discovered that my internal closets were cluttered when I began to study astrology, psychology, & yoga. The first clue came in my 20’s when I was told by a reputable astrologer that the moon lived in the 12th house of my natal chart. Something deep inside of me immediately became curious and I thus began my search, my quest, my journey to fully and completely understand me.I was 57 years old November, 2006 and today I can look back farther and look out further than ever before. The journey I set out on so long ago has become a never-ending journey into what Carl Jung calls the ‘collective unconscious’. Thank God (dess) for the North Node Aries to remind me that I am here also to learn about individuality amidst the watery depths of the collective.Hiding

 

Recently, I experienced what is called a Soul Retrieval.This ‘journeying’ technique is used by many different shamans to aid and assist us in becoming whole and healed. The intention of the journey is to re-unite my current self with split-off pieces of my soul.

 What the shaman revealed to me afterwards gave me another perspective to integrate into my understanding of my self.

 Here’s what the shaman saw.

 She saw me, huddling in a dark closet, fearful & afraid. My beloved family was being violently removed from our home by soldiers. I could hear the sounds and feel the vibrations of powerful movements happening just on the other side of the door. I cowered and shook in the dark, trying to catch my breath. After a while it became silent. Darkness surrounded me still. I ventured out slowly, as quietly as I could. No one was there. The place looked a mess. I was in shock…..frozen right where I was standing, paralyzed, immobilized. I am 12 years old (give or take a year or two) and I’m totally alone in a hostile world. My family is gone, either forcibly taken, or simply disappeared.
I do not survive this test. Death came soon.

 It was explained to me by the shaman that this was my most recent past life experience and has had huge impact on this life. (Our past life experiences can be somewhat found by studying the 12th house in our natal charts.)

 When we discover new pieces of ourselves, by what ever means we do this, it takes some time to integrate the information until we ‘feel’ okay again. But, what does ‘feel okay’ mean? I have struggled with the questions and confusions around feelings for most of my life. The problem with feelings is that you feel them, and not all those feelings feel good. In the moment of feeling a preference for something is born and the life of duality becomes the norm. I prefer to feel good. I don’t like to feel bad.

 But what if we just felt the feeling, in ease, without any commentary or concern as to whether or not it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’?Can we learn to simply just feel, without the commentary or the suffering as Gautama, The Buddah teaches?For me this is where my lifelong study and practice of eastern philosophy, particularly Yoga has really paid off.

 Today, I still live in the closet, my moon in the 12th house has learned a lot thru the astrological perspective of Progression but it still has its roots in the 12th house. The difference today is that the lights are on and the walls of my closet are transparent allowing interaction with the outside world. And, I’ve made it way past 12 years old…….

Healing is another story. For that we look to Chiron, an asteroid orbiting between Saturn & Uranus. But that’s for another day.

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The lunar cycle

If you have landed on this page looking for information on time & time management you have found it. However, be prepared. You may not find what you expect.

My fascination with time might have started here. It was only a few years after that I came across my first astrology book.  It always made good sense to me that the sky represented a big clock.

For over 20 years I practiced my skills as an astrologer while working in the real estate industry. I worked as a Broker/Agent, Office Manager, and Trainer.   Time Management was a favorite for new agents/managers.  After all the typical stuff of goal setting, etc.,  I always included the recognition of cycles as part of the training. I taught them how to set up their appointments to maximize their time aligned with  the soli/ lunar cycle. Many reported back to me thru the years how helpful my training was and how it continues to help them even today. My time-skills expanded into other area’s of work, quite naturally and effortlessly………of course I was practicing everything that I preached, otherwise, what’s the point?

So, please feel free to float around this blog and discover all sorts of time tips, techniques, and tidbit’s of information. In this post the discussion continues.

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Lao Tzu

I have just three things to teach:

Simplicity, patience, compassion.

These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and in thoughts,

You return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies,

You accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself,

You reconcile all beings in the world.

Thus the wise man residing in the tao

Sets an example for all beings.

Because he doesn’t display himself,

People can see his light.

Because he has nothing to prove,

People can trust his words.

Because he doesn’t know who he is

People recognize themselves in him.

Because he has no goal in mind,

Everything he does succeeds.

Tao te Ching

Lao Tzu

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In the beginning there was no existence.
Existence appeared and grew.
It became an egg.
The egg broke open.

Broken Egg

One if its halves was of silver, the other gold.
The silver half became this earth.
The golden half became the sky.
The membrane surrounding the white of the egg became the mountains.
The membrane surrounding the yolk became mist and clouds.
The blood vessels rivers.
The white became the sea.
And the yolk was the sun.

Indian Upanishad

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zafuIn 2001, I had the great good fortune to meet Sylvia Boorstein, a meditation teacher from the Theravada tradition of Buddhism. I loved her at first sight. She was the epitome of The GrandMother archetype for me. Round, jolly, sparkling, and chock full of the kind of everyday wisdom that only comes from deep study and years of personal practice. I assisted her with her 5-day program at Kripalu Center and became enamoured of Metta Meditation as a spiritual practice. Every summer for the following four years I returned to Kripalu to assist, practice and learn from Sylvia all about metta and the practice of lovingkindness.

Metta Meditation is a practice that was given to the Buddah’s students whereby particular phrases are repeated over and over, as in a mantra practice. The difference is that the phrases are first oriented towards oneself, then directed towards someone else, and finally for the well being of All beings. Beginning with oneself is critically important as the following quote of Gautama Buddah suggests.

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

Nice.

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